From Crisis to Sustainable Development: the SDGs as Roadmap to 2030 and Beyond


The Sustainable Development Report (SDR), including the SDG Index and Dashboards which track progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), was released. The report shows that multiple and simultaneous international crises have halted progress on the universal goals adopted by all UN member countries during the historic 2015 summit.

For the second year in a row, the world is no longer making progress on the SDGs.
Multiple and simultaneous health, climate, biodiversity, geopolitical and military crises are major setbacks for sustainable development globally. The SDG Index world average has slightly decreased in 2021 for the second year in a row, largely due to the impact of the pandemic on SDG1 (No Poverty) and SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and poor performance on SDG11-15 (climate, biodiversity, and sustainable urban development goals). Besides their massive humanitarian costs, military conflicts – including the war in Ukraine – have major international spillovers on food security and energy prices, which are amplified by the climate and biodiversity crises. They also crowd out space for long-term thinking and investments. Peace, diplomacy, and international cooperation are fundamental conditions for the world to progress on the SDGs towards 2030 and beyond.

A global plan to finance sustainable development is urgently needed.
Achieving the SDGs is fundamentally an investment agenda in physical infrastructure (including renewable energy, digital technologies) and human capital (including health, education). Yet the poorest half of the world lacks market access to capital on acceptable terms. Poor and vulnerable countries have been hit hard by the multiple crises and their spillovers. Rising budget pressures, increased military spending and major shifts in strategic priorities, especially in European countries, might squeeze development funds available to support sustainable development globally. In this context, the report presents a five-point plan for financing the SDGs globally. It underlines the key role of the G20, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to expand SDG financing globally.

At mid-point on the way to 2030, policy efforts and commitments for the SDGs vary greatly.
At mid-point on the way to 2030, the integration of the SDGs into policies, regulations, budgets, monitoring systems, and other government policies and procedures still varies greatly across countries. Among G20 member states, the United States, Brazil, and the Russian Federation exhibit the least support for the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. By contrast, Nordic countries demonstrate relatively high support for the SDGs, as do Argentina, Germany, Japan and Mexico (all G20 countries). Some countries, such as Benin and Nigeria, for example, have large gaps in their SDG Index yet also earn relatively high scores for their policy efforts. Interestingly, Benin and Mexico have both issued SDG Sovereign Bonds in recent years to scale up their sustainable development investments.

Other findings of the Sustainable Development Report 2022:
  • Rich countries generate negative international spillovers notably through unsustainable consumption. The 2022 international Spillover Index included in this report underlines how rich countries, generate negative socioeconomic and environmental spillovers, including through unsustainable trade and supply chains.
  • New partnerships and innovations that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, including in scientific cooperation and data, should be scaled-up to support the SDGs. Science, technological innovations, and data systems can help identify solutions in times of crises and can provide decisive contributions to address the major challenges of our times. These call for increased and prolonged investments in statistical capacities, R&D, and education and skills.
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